Trends come and go, but Mama’s wisdom is timeless.
When it comes to which mayo is the best for potato salad, or what lipstick is the most flattering for your complexion, Mama knows best. The same is true for decorating. Well, most of the time, anyway. The shag carpet in the living room? A tragic ‘70s misstep. That vinyl cover she once put on the loveseat to protect it from messes and spills? That was before slipcovers. Bless her heart, even Mama makes a mistake every once in a while. Most of the time, though, when it comes to decorating, your dear mother gets it right. Here, five throwback decorating tips from Mama that we want to bring back for good.
1. Weave in dark wood antiques.
We love light woods and painted furniture, but it’s time to pull those age-old antiques out of the attic. Keep dark, heavy pieces from weighing down a room by pairing them with lighter organic elements, like a seagrass rug or bamboo accents, and plenty of crisp, airy hues.
2. Dress up the dining room.
Dinner in the South is always an occasion to be celebrated, so your dining area, whether it’s a separate room or woven into an open floor plan, should always be primed for entertaining. Twirl up your table with pretty plates and cloth napkins, and set the room a-twinklin’ with an old-fashioned crystal chandelier — hang it sky-high above the table, rather than just above, for a more contemporary feel. Plus, a dazzling dining room is just the place to showcase grandmother’s silver.
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3. Climb aboard the wallpaper train.
Put down the paint roller. Wallpaper is back, and it’s the ultimate way to transform so-so walls into standout design elements. The trick to making it work: Color. Even the most traditional wallpaper patterns feel right at home in the 21st century when they feature fresh hues. If you’re not ready to commit to wallpapered everything, start small: It’s a dynamite way to make your home’s teeniest spaces, like powder rooms or butler’s pantries, really pop.
4. Bring on the floral patterns.
As with wallpaper, it’s all about color when it comes to making a floral pattern feel of-the-moment, rather than dated. The pattern’s scale also plays a role in how it reads in a room: Small-scale floral bedding, for example, teases out that summer house nostalgia, while a large-scale floral that’s a little more abstract dials up the mod vibes. And while we’re bringing back florals, let’s go ahead and bring back chintz, too: It’s a total winner on window treatments and throw pillows.
5. Embrace matchy-matchy bedding.
While we love a good mix-and-match situation, matching shams and duvets feel especially classic. Keep the buttoned-up look from feeling too precious (or too much like your childhood bedroom) by pairing the matching set with plain Jane sheets in complementary colors or a headboard upholstered in a different, but also complementary, pattern.